The session explores the design process behind the co-creation of a framework to support development of both both staff and student digital literacy. It is aimed primarily at attendees who are interested in creating a digital literacy framework for their own setting, or other strategic initiatives designed to support digital capability.
At the University of Leeds Lifelong Learning Centre we are currently piloting the institution’s first digital literacy framework, to support developing the capabilities of our 90 staff and 1000 students. The framework is expected to have a significant impact on the development of digital literacy by providing a basis for meaningful self-and tutor-assessment, a next-steps guide featuring specific activities, and a structured overview to help embed progression in digital capability within teaching curricula and staff training activities.
This work-in-progress report explores the work done so far in co-creating a framework from scratch and integrating it into teaching curricula, combined with a frank evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of our methods and reflections on the importance of a structured, strategic approach.
The process is broken down into five discrete stages:
1. Identifying and engaging stakeholders, including the relative merits of ‘top-down’ managerial and ‘bottom up’ grassroots engagement.
2. Drawing on existing materials, whether and how to adopt and adapt existing frameworks.
3. Iterating drafts and incorporating feedback, comparing and contrasting different approaches to co-creation and reflecting on their relative merits.
4. Piloting and promoting the framework, including ways to maximise buy-in and visibility.
5. Evaluating its impact, covering feedback from staff and plans for student evaluation.
For each stage I will give a brief explanation of the actions taken in the project, as well as their rationale and reflection on their effectiveness, combined with a collaborative task for participants to explore how that stage could ideally be approached. These tasks will be practically-oriented with the intention to produce materials that participants can take away and use in their own settings. The session will use mobile polling to identify the areas most relevant to participants and gather feedback to inform our future work, as well as other digital resources for collaboration such as Padlet, so it is recommended that participants bring a mobile phone or other internet-connected device. I will be collating and sharing all materials produced in the session, to support participants in developing their own digital literacy frameworks (or similar projects) and potentially creating an interest group for future collaboration.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
The session is based upon a current project to pilot a digital literacy framework in the Lifelong Learning Centre at University of Leeds (in the absence of any institutional framework), which will be integrated into teaching curricula for the academic year 2018-19. So far the project has been very successful, with staff co-creating a well-developed framework which has been fully integrated into two teaching programmes and planned to be used by all staff and students over the next 3 years. Initial qualitative feedback has been very positive, and completing the framework has been adopted as one of the key strategic aims for the Centre for 2017-18.
However, with the benefit of hindsight the approach taken had room for improvement. Owing largely to its beginnings as an informal initiative which rapidly gained recognition, the co-creative process went through several iterations including one-on-one and small group development meetings, leading to the creation of a working group which took ownership of the project overall. This has been a very valuable learning experience for us about the practicalities of designing a strategic initiative of this type, and has produced several take-away messages about the effective planning of similar projects and digital literacy in particular.
This session aims not only to share the insights we have gained so far, but to support participants in reflecting on how they might apply similar principles to their own settings and projects. In the process, the intention is that they will be able to create planning materials which are directly relevant to themselves and their work. I also intend to collate all the materials produced and share them online for future reference, with a view to possibly setting up an interest group in developing digital literacy frameworks. Previous experience suggests that this may or may not bear fruit, nevertheless I see providing opportunities to build and make use of professional networks as extremely valuable.
As this is an ongoing project, I am also hoping to gain feedback on the work completed so far as well as discuss different ways to evaluate the impact of the framework on students’ learning – for example, how to isolate its impact on learning gain from other factors, and to what extent are quantitative methods likely to produce meaningful data. These will then feed forward into the next phase of the project, which is its implementation in taught programmes and ongoing refinement in response to evaluation. Summaries of all evaluative data received so far will be shared fully with participants, as well as a representative sample of qualitative feedback.
Beetham, H., Killen, C. & Knight, S. (2017). Developing organisational approaches to digital capability. [online, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND] Jisc.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-organisational-approaches-to-digital-capability [Accessed 26 March 2018].
Smyth, K. (2017). 3E Education. [online] 3eeducation.org. Available at: https://3eeducation.org/3e-framework/ [Accessed 26 March 2018].
Jisc (2017). Checklist for curriculum developers. [online, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND] Jisc.ac.uk. Available at: http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6631/1/DigicapCurriculumDevChecklist.docx [Accessed 26 March 2018].
The Open University (2012). Digital and information literacy framework. [online, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA] Open.ac.uk. Available at: http://www.open.ac.uk/libraryservices/pages/dilframework/ [Accessed 26 March 2018].
Resources for participants
Presentation slides and digital literacy framework to follow.